contributed by Sarah M. Greer, LMT CYI CHHC
http://www.massageyogahealth.com/

Did You Know?

• The skin is the largest most important eliminative organ in the body and is responsible for one quarter of the body’s detoxification each day?
• The skin eliminates over one pound of waste acids each day in the average adult, most of it through the sweat glands?
• That the skin is known also as our third kidney?
• That the skin receives one third of all the blood circulated in the body?
• That the skin is the last to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to show signs of imbalance or deficiency?
 
Detoxification is performed by a number of organs, glands, and transportation systems, including the skin, gut, kidneys, liver, lungs, lymphatic system, and mucous membranes. The dry brushing technique deals with detoxification of the skin.
 
Dry brushing is a way to stimulate all the above organs of detoxification because it provides a gentle internal massage.

Benefits of Dry Skin Brushing:
 
• Cleanses the lymphatic system and stimulates the lymph canals to drain toxic mucoid matter into the colon, thereby purifying the entire system. This enables the lymph to perform its house-cleaning duties by keeping the blood and other vital tissues detoxified. NOTE: After several days of dry brushing, you may notice the gelatinous mucoid material in your stools.
• Removes dead skin layers which can help improve skin texture and cell renewal.
• Strengthens the immune system
• Stimulates the hormone and oil-producing glands
• Tightens the skin by increasing the flow of blood, thereby preventing premature aging. 
• Stimulates circulation to skin, encouraging your body’s discharge of metabolic wastes, which greatly aids the lymphatic drainage of the entire body. When the body rids itself of toxins, it is able to run more efficiently in all areas.
• Improves the function of the nervous system
• Helps digestion - helps your skin to absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores. Healthy, breathing skin contributes to overall body health.
• Dry skin brushing helps with muscle tone and more even distribution of fat deposits.
• Dry skin brushing also rejuvenates the nervous system by stimulating nerve endings in the skin.
• Individuals who sit at a computer screen all day long will particularly take pleasure in the benefits of skin brushing. People who have inactive lifestyles or jobs usually experience stiff and sore necks and shoulders that reach even into their arms and down their spines and into their lower backs. Increased blood flow begins entering the areas brushed and you will experience an increase in electromagnetic energy that permits you to feel energized and invigorated.
• Removes cellulite - LADIES—Cellulite is toxic. Cellulite is toxic materials that are accumulated in your body’s fat cells as they are unable to be eliminated. So, rather than liposuction surgery, how about utilizing the “dry skin brushing” techniques coupled with an alkaline diet program and a great exercising routine. It will break down the unwelcome toxic body deposits and send them scurrying out of your body through the elimination channels we discussed above
• AND it’s easy, inexpensive and invigorating!

Tips and Tricks for Dry Brushing:

• Always dry brush your dry body before you shower or bathe because you will want to wash off the impurities from the skin as a result from the brushing action.
• You can do the brushing head-to-toe or toe-to-head.  It really doesn’t matter as long as the entire body is brushed. Long sweeping strokes starting from the bottom of your feet upwards, and from the hands towards the shoulders, and on the torso in an upward direction help drain the lymph back to your heart. Note: Stroking away from your heart puts extra pressure on the valves within the veins and lymph vessels and can cause ruptured vessels and varicose veins.
• Use light pressure in areas where the skin is thin and harder pressure on places like the soles of the feet.
• Skin brushing should be performed once a day, preferably first thing in the morning. A thorough skin brushing takes about 15 minutes, but any time spent brushing prior to bathing will benefit the body. If you are feeling ill, increasing the treatments to twice a day is good. You can also dry brush areas of cellulite five to 10 minutes twice a day to achieve cellulite dissolving, but the technique needs to be done consistently for a minimum of five months.
• Avoid sensitive areas and anywhere the skin is broken such as areas of skin rash, wounds, cuts, and infections. Also, never brush an area affected by poison oak or poison ivy.
• Finish up with your regular shower and ending with three hot and cold cycles. That means turning on the water as hot as you can take it for several seconds, then as cold as you can handle it, then hot, then cold for three cycles. End with either hot or cold. This will further invigorate the skin and stimulate blood circulation, bringing more blood to the outer layers of the skin.
• After getting out of the shower, dry off vigorously and massage your skin with pure plant oils such as olive, avocado, apricot, almond, sesame, coconut or cocoa butter. Add a little peanut and Castor oil to the mix if you have arthritis. Edgar Cayce says this works to take out some of the pain, and we’ve found that to be true over the years.
• Clean your skin brush using soap and water once a week. After rinsing, dry your skin brush in an open, sunny spot to prevent mildew.
• Any well designed program will take about 30 days to see and experience the changes. Please be patient and keep up the program! For a thorough lymphatic cleansing, perform skin brushing daily for a minimum of three months.

How to Dry Brush (Easy, Fast Instructions):
 
• Begin with your feet and brush vigorously in circular motions.
• Continue brushing up your legs.
• Proceed to your hands and arms.
• Brush your entire back and abdomen area, shoulders and neck.
• Use circular counter-clockwise strokes on the abdomen.
• Lightly brush the breasts.
• Brush upwards on the back and down from the neck. Better yet, have a friend, spouse or family member brush your back.

Dry skin brushes are available through Sarah Greer (you can contact her on her website) or at many health food stores.